Nationwide Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage

The Upper Palatinate culture of Zoiglbeer

Ever since the 15th century, the Upper Palatinate culture of Zoiglbeer comprises the idea of collective brewing and enjoyment of Zoiglbeer. Zoiglbeer is a special kind of beer coming from the South of Germany and its consumption goes hand in hand with a variety of rituals and traditions.  

Facts & figures

  • Crucial date: throughout the year
  • Inscription: 2018
  • Domains: Social customs, rituals and festivals; traditional craftsmanship; oral traditions and expressions
  • Where to find: Upper Palatinate, Bavarian region


Schutz-Gemeinschaft Echter Zoigl vom Kommunbrauer e.V.
Reinhard Fütterer

Zoiglbeer is beer brewed by local citizens in communal breweries. It is served on special occasions. However, it is not served for commercial events but for communal events. Temporary lay hosts do not only offer the premises for a meeting point but also light snacks and warm bread.

The Upper Palatinate culture of Zoiglbeer is the last surviving remnant of a communal brewing system that used to be widespread in large parts of Southern Germany back then in the high Middle Ages. Today citizens only practise the traditional Zoigl culture in five places in Upper Palatinate: Neuhaus (since 1415), Windischeschenbach (1455), Falkenberg (1467), Eslarn (1522) and Mitterteich (1516). Until the 20th century, self-brewed beer served as an important food product for the rural population. It was also a preindustrial way of preserving crops in harsh, humid climates.

“Zoiglbeer Parlours” offer a diverse culture of communication and entertainment. Get-togethers encompass particular customs and songs as well as business deals and discussions about local politics. Today, those parlours are of high importance for the inhabitants of the regions, as they contribute to a sense of solidarity. Furthermore, the culture highly resonates with the locals and enables anyone to participate.


Wissen. Können. Weitergeben..
Deutsche UNESCO-Kommission, 2017

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